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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Victoria's Secret: Her Undies Aren't All They're Cracked Up to Be

Less than a year ago I determined that I'd reached an age at which my lingerie drawer should open to reveal neat rows of matching unmentionable sets. A jumbled collection of mismatched sale offerings from various department stores, Tarjay, and the like no longer seemed right. But where to purchase my new goods? La Perla's too pricey. Agent Provocateur conjures images of Carmen Electra/Paris Hilton trashy--not for me. So I headed to Victoria's Secret, for the first time to do more than elbow my way through the $20 sale bin with 100 of my closest fellow semi-annual sale attendees. A few hundred dollars later, I emerged with two small pink bags whose size seemed not at all commensurate with the cost of the items inside. Once home, my weary rainbow pile of ecclectic coverings gave way to the neat rows of new white, pink, and black satin and lace.

About eight months later, I must report that things have gone to hell in a laundry basket. Little bows are unraveling, trim is coming loose, threads are dangling, lace is tearing. Now, before you screech "Well, did you launder them on delicate in a lingerie bag?" the answer is yes. I cared for them properly. And before you ask anything untoward about their treatment at other times I will say, don't even think about it mister, this is a ladylike blog. Which leads me to one conclusion: Victoria's Secret is all about the name and not so much the product. I offer this merely as a cautionary tale to those tempted to usher in a new phase in life as I did, especially with the onslaught of publicity surrounding next week's televised "fashion show." In short, I've learned that purchasing your most delicate duds somewhere that's not in close proximity to a cookie cake stand and a video game store is a road less unraveled.


Blogger Virgle Kent said...

but the true question is did the person who saw you in said Vics complain?

I think not, and that what really matters.

6:20 PM  
Blogger Hey Pretty said...

Yeah, VS is total crap. Her *other* secret is that she hates large breasted women, as evidenced by the fact that her bras offer very little support for those of us over a B cup.

American Apparel makes very nice plain cotton undies for non-special occassions.

Oh, and the Coup de Foudre down near Metro Center has some DIVINE french undies if you ever feel like a splurge.

6:54 PM  
Blogger Kathryn Is So Over said...

I'm a huge fan of the Calvin Klein and a few other collections at the Nordstrom lingerie department. Then, once you know your sizes, is the ultimate. Just got 20% off everything.

7:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How is it that you thought Victoria's Secret was somehow not trashy? I don't get the logic there.

Next time, check the "MADE IN" tags. VS is made by sweatshop laborers in Malaysia. At least AP is made in France or England or something. Also, if you can buy it in a mall = white trash wear.

7:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would think that, unlike granny undies and large white bras, Victoria Secret clothing is subject to a higher-than-average amount of, um, wear and tear. I think that's kind of the idea.

I never understand why women buy nighties and the like. They never wear them for very long once they put them on. I suspect that most negligees are worn for about 14 minutes over their entire lifespan.

Maybe it's just me.

7:41 PM  
Anonymous etcetera said...

firstly, fascinating new content from brunchbird. this is of a different ilk than your usual. i like.

secondly, VS absolutely hides behind the name and does not produce quality. i feel the same about Tiffany's. their shit breaks and they get away with it b/c they are the famous "classic" brand.

thirdly, i too have made recent attempts to upgrade my collection after one miss kathryn on... berated me for wearing nubby undies that had made several trips with me to the field (in Africa). Department stores are the way to go. also, i have to force myself to THROW AWAY the nubby old pairs, otherwise i will keep them in my drawer "just for working out" or something. and before you know it they are back in the regular wearing cycle. it's dangerous.

8:40 PM  
Blogger Brunch Bird said...

Etc- Hand to God I had the following line in this post originally but cut it when the item was running too long: "Call it the Tiffany & Co. Principle: The diamond quality doesn't match the Visa bill for it." And yes, content is a little more eyebrow arching than usual but I'm feeling finicky today.

8:53 PM  
Blogger honeykbee said...

Thank you for this. I'd been contemplating a skivvies overhaul and you just saved me from myself.

9:20 PM  
Anonymous rcr said...

Panties! Glorious panties!

11:35 PM  
Blogger regs said...

Dead on BB! I learned early about the POS quality of Victoria's secret. And hey pretty is absolutely correct about the hatred for large breasted women. Which as you can imagine just infuriates me, I’m all in a huff right now just thinking about it. I love the selection at Nordstrom's and my new favorite boutique IC London. They sell items for all sizes, and don’t imply that you must be a freak of nature to have a small band size and large cup size. On a related note, just pulled out all my Christmas ornaments and I smile every year when I put my angel on top the tree…I found this particular treasure on a discount rack at Tuesday Morning, probably considered flawed b/c she didn’t look so angelic and a tad more Pam Anderson as she is quite busty. I love it, an angel who is top heavy and actually looks like me.

2:17 PM  
Blogger Brunch Bird said...

Thanks to all for the tips on alternate brands. At this rate I'm going to need another shopping spree soon.

Hey Pretty- You know I was waiting for S.O. at the theater across the street from there a couple weeks ago and got all distracted by their window display, like a kitten by a butterfly. "Oooh, pretty underwear..." I wondered what the deal with that place was. What's the snooty factor there, though?

VK- A lady never tells.

HKBee- Happy to help. Pay it forward.

RCR- You'll notice that word never appears once in the post. Every time I started to write it I giggled too much.

Anon- Actually, my VS stuff is made in Morocco. (And I'm sure they tooootally have their s*** together when it comes to child labor laws. ;-) Of course VS has a trash factor, but they also sell a lot of understated stuff to appeal to the broadest range of consumers. My point is that I've never walked into an AP and thought, "I could easily find something that's my style in here." And it depends on the mall. If it's a running shoe and baby clothes mall, sure. But there are obviously a ton of malls that have luxury retailers, too.

Regs- I'm cracking up thinking about you having a Busty McGee tree topper.

3:10 PM  
Blogger Erica said...

I second all of the above re: Vickys. Stuff is garbage.

For C cups and up, Fantasie, this line from England, is wonderful. Cosabella and On Gossomer too. Hot tip, me to to Nordstroms in Tysons, ask for Iman, I swear by her.

3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gap Body has some cute and durable stuff too.

3:19 PM  
Blogger Brunch Bird said...

Erica- Kick. Tail. Thanks!

3:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hanky Panky is the only way to go. They may be more expensive but at least they don't fall apart from normal wear. I've trained my boyfriend to never, ever buy that junk from VS. Mass marketed trash if you ask me.

4:13 PM  
Blogger Hey Pretty said...

Shopping at Coup de Foudre is an exercise in patience and inner-strength. It's run by snooty french ladies who think that anyone larger than a size 2 is fat. Here's a secret: just ignore them. Act like you know what you're doing and they'll let you be. And try not to lose it when you discover you've paid 70 dollars for two pairs of undies. Despite the hefty price tag, I have never regretted a purchase there.

4:40 PM  
Blogger WiB said...

Wait, wait, wait. Not to gloss over the discussion of ladies underthings, mind you, but-

there's an underwear store called IC London??? That's effing brilliant.

Okay, sorry. Now back to the panties!

5:18 PM  
Blogger Brunch Bird said...

Oh my god, I didn't even get the IC London thing until reading WiB's comment. That. Is. Genius.

HP- Good advice. I believe CdF and Nordstrom shall be my new undie purveyors, with the others deserving further investigation.

6:43 PM  

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